I love getting things for free, so I was excited when my wife said she’d won free movie tickets through a Facebook promotion by a local television station. The tickets were for a pre-release viewing of a comedy that wasn’t due to hit theaters for several weeks. Free tickets to an unreleased movie? Count me in!
Unfortunately, free isn’t always as awesome as it sounds.
There was a very important detail that wasn’t revealed until she received a follow-up email. Apparently, the television station wanted to ensure the theater was full, so they purposely overbooked the event. They suggested an early arrival to the theater, as the ticket handout was set to begin an hour and a half before the movie. Since ticket handout was at the time we normally eat dinner, my wife and I planned to show up, grab our tickets, and then have dinner at a nearby restaurant.
The Downside of Free
When we arrived, we discovered that “ticket handout” really meant wait in line until they opened the movie theater doors. So we stood in line for 45 minutes, then sat in the theater for another 45 minutes before the movie started. We became very hungry, so luckily the theater served some food.
Our quiet pre-movie dinner plans turned into scarfing down chicken strips and fries while standing in line.
At 7 pm sharp, the theater lights went down, and the movie started. Putting our mediocre dinner and long wait behind us, we settled in for some laughs — but the movie was horrible. It was a couple hours of my life that I’ll never get back.
You take a risk with every movie, and I accept that. But had I known we were going to wait around for an hour and a half, we would’ve made alternate dinner plans to make sure we at least got something good.
Instead, our free movie really meant shelling out close to $30 for lukewarm chicken strips and soggy French fries.
Have you ever received something for free, only to have it not be worth it?